Supporting vendors:
 
Your ad here?
 

Go Back   TeamKitfox Forums > Discussion > Kitfox general discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-13-2015, 06:48 AM   #41
kmach
Senior Member
 
kmach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Cupar, SK, Canada CLC4 Loon Creek Airfield
Posts: 540
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

I enjoy reading your adventure. Thankyou for sharing your experiences
__________________
Kevin,

Kitfox Outback
912 ULS
Summit Aircraft Wheel Skis
C-FOXW
kmach is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2015, 07:08 AM   #42
av8rps
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Junction City, WI
Posts: 517
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat...
av8rps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 06:27 AM   #43
Lynn Matteson
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Grass Lake, Michigan
Posts: 48
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

Quote:
Originally Posted by av8rps View Post
I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat...
Hang in there, Paul, more adventure on the way.

Prior to Oshkosh

I left out an important part of this journey into "floatdom"....prior to devising and installing the landing gear position indicator, I had made a flight up to Clare Muni airport for a breakfast (they've got the best cheesy potatoes in the land) Leaving there...without the benefit of my GPS, which went belly-up some time ago, I saw a freeway which I thought was the N-S one, I followed it, and ended up going NW-SE towards Saginaw and some Class C airports. When I realized this, I made a correction to go south and get out of their territory. I was getting frazzled by now and tired, and wanted to get home.

When I got home, I saw my hangar-mate waiting for me, and, wanting to make a great landing to impress he and his wife, I brought it down the grass runway and made the smoothest touchdown in the history of the world...for a little bit. Then the plane sort of came to a rather quick stop. I thought I had left the line-lock on for the brakes, but then realized I had landed wheels UP! By this time in the flight, all my brain power was used up, and I had finally done what they say all pilots with re-positionable gear will do eventually, and that is make a wheels-up landing. Well, it didn't take me long to accomplish that feat....probably 30 landings into my re-positionable landing gear career, I had my merit badge. We got the floats raised with planks and wood blocks and lowered the gear and in 15 minutes I was able to taxi to the hangar.

It was at this point that I decided to order the annunciator, and build the position indicating switches, because I couldn't trust my brain to remember to check for the proper position of the gear. Then came the incident at Oshkosh, and the realization that even with an audible reminder (which wasn't functional yet) to check gear position, I still needed to have a mechanical device to show where the wheels were...EVERY wheel, not just the one with the microswitches, and the fronts with their mechanical indicators.

So now I had to devise mechanical indicators for both main wheels...what if a wire broke, or a light bulb failed, or the annunciator (if and when I got it functioning) went belly-up?...so I could see proof positive that all wheels were in the proper position for whatever surface I was going to land on, water or land.

I already had the mechanical indicators for the front wheels, and the ones for the mains weren't that hard to devise, so I set about building them. On the Zenair floats, the mains go down and are locked in place by an over-center mechanism, and I used this feature to make my indicators such that as the links go over center, the indicators are actuated, and this can be seen from the cabin via a rod that sticks up through the skin of the top of the float. So now I had all four wheels showing their positions by mechanical means, as well as the pressure gauges to show when the actuating cylinders were at their extreme positions.

Early on in this business of trying to make a fool-proof method of knowing where the wheels were, I had thought of the pressure-indicating method of wheel position as the end-all in knowing where they were....but what if a log were to become jammed between the mechanism and the float? In this case the gauge would show high pressure, but the cylinder would not have moved the mechanism the entire way to either up or down, and I wouldn't know this and would land with one wheel not in the proper position. So that is why I went with the mechanical position indicators. Now when I land, I operate the up or the down switch, watch the pressure gauge for maximum deflection, then observe the wheel-position indicators for proper position for the intended surface. When I get the annunciator working, I'll have that to remind me that I'm going to land on whatever surface the wheels are presently positioned for, and if my brain is working, the landings will be made with the wheels positioned correctly. Now if I can get some more training, maybe I can actually use these things for what they were intended...landing on water.

Next up...fixing the damage from the Oshkosh incident.

Lynn
Lynn Matteson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 07:58 AM   #44
avidflyer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chisholm Mn
Posts: 641
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

Lynn, your series of messages reminds me of the 'Cloud Dancer's Alaskan Chronicles' series on the Super Cub dot org website. Hope yours has a happy ending like most of his do. I'm waiting for the next installment. Jim Chuk
avidflyer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 04:35 PM   #45
Av8r3400
Super Moderator
 
Av8r3400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Merrill, WI
Posts: 2,373
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

What about a simple pair of mirrors on the jury struts?
__________________
Av8r3400
Kitfox Model IV
The Mangy Fox
912UL 105hp Zipper
YouTube Videos
Av8r3400 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 09:20 PM   #46
rv9ralph
 
rv9ralph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 140
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

Mirrors is what I was thinking. I love following the thought process and the execution of a possible solution. It is a learning experience for us all.

Another visual check tool.... wireless back-up camera. Available at auto parts for$50-70. Mount camera in a location low enough to see the wheels when down... or not see them when up.

Ralph
rv9ralph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 07:02 AM   #47
Lynn Matteson
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Grass Lake, Michigan
Posts: 48
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

The mirrors have been suggested, but when you get them mounted far enough out that they can be seen, most of them....wide angle...are pretty much useless in trying to determine whether the wheel is really all the way down. My over-center indicator won't indicate until the mechanism is over center and the wheel is locked in place. With a mirror system, the wheel shows up so small that it is impossible to tell if it's REALLY all the way down or not. On the Republic Seabee that we have been working on...ahem, Oshkosh Seaplane Grand Champion, 2014, Sport Aviation, Oct.2014, p.82, thank you very much... the mirror for the tailwheel is out on the tip float, and when you try to see if the tailwheel is down, it is SO small as to be useless. He has a light that indicates position, and the mirror is only to verify.
When I came up with the mechanical indicators, it was, in my mind, the easiest solution that was pretty much foolproof, and didn't involve lights, wires, etc.

Now to fixing the Oshkosh damage...

I left Oshkosh two days after getting there...my usuall stay...and flew home
to fix the floats.

After it slid on the belly of the right-side float, there was grinding damage to the keel for about 13" but very little damage to the skin...only about 2" of the skin was ground away. I made an overlapping scarf-type repair to the keel, and overlapped the skin and the step bulkhead with new material.
There was room to reach inside the float to buck rivets, because I had built the floats with pump-out openings in the walkways. I had cut six 3.5" openings into the walkways of each float and installed pumpout cups in the areas of the separate compartments. But I felt more comfortable being able to get both arms inside, so I cut an additional 3.5" x 6" opening into the walkway, and later added a flange and a hinged access cover. Maybe I'll line that compartment with styrofoam and be able to carry ice and beer, eh?

I had taken the floats off the plane to repair the damage, and had the plane flyable the next day after returning fron Osh. Brian called me and I told him I had the floats off and was flying the plane, and he suggested that I come back up to Osh..."you'd probably be the first guy who came in on floats, left and returned to Osh on wheels" I doubted that and opted to not go through the effort...if I had been assured of setting some kind of Guinness Record, I probably would have though.

Anyway, got the damage all fixed, and reinstalled the floats 4 weeks later. It was during this time that I devised the main wheel position indicators, built them and had them in place when the floats went back on. It was also during this time that Brian suggested that the step needed to go further back in relation to the plane. That would have involved making new struts and I was reluctant to just start making new struts, cutting the longer ones down, making new ones, etc., on the notion that this would help the plane off the water. Instead, I decided to build a new set of brackets to allow the plane to move forward...floats back...and these would allow for a movement of 2.75", and if the brackets were flip-flopped, another 2.75" in the same direction. It took almost another 4 weeks of designing and building and installing to get these in place, and in the meantime, I got a few more hours training in the Cub on floats.

While training in the Cub, Brian would have me call out all the moves that I was doing, but as they related to flying the Kitfox. It would go something like: "Kitfox downwind for lake landing....carb heat on...water rudders up...engine speed set...mixture set (Rotec throttle body)...operating gear switch (actually pretending to reach for the switch)...pause...pressure building....pressure maxed out...left float wheels indicate up, right float wheels both up...configured for water landing...."

We would do this time after time, landing on the water, having read the wind direction, and landing accordingly. He would have me do high-speed taxiing, which was ok, but I was not so comfortable doing high-speed turns on the step...it just didn't feel right to me. Also, the Cub tach is a counterclockwise rotation for increasing rpms, and that was WAY different than the digital tach that I ws used to seeing in the 'fox...GRT EIS. The carb heat is located where I couldn't see it, so it was "out of sight, out of mind", as well as the location of the water rudder pull-up handle. All of these little things have a way of frustrating this 78-(79 by the time I get this documented) year-old brain. Along with the little details of flying the Cub dual was the problem of getting the plane into the water and getting ready for a lesson. Brian has a small pond in his backyard which is long enough for the Cub to take off one-up. But because it is a straight-float plane, he has to fly it to a local lake, I drive the car there, wade out, get in, get an hour's worth of work in or so,(about all the stress this old-timer can handle) wade back to the car, while Brian takes the plane home. We then back the tractor and trailer into the water, load the plane aboard, and put the combo into the hangar. Because I don't like to be a burden on others, all this effort to get such short flying time in wears on me....frustrating.

By now, I had the floats moved back the 2.75" and ready for the next lesson. It is amazing how much different it is to get training in ones' own plane, or in any amphib for that matter. I called Brian to meet me at the local turf airport...3NP, Napoleon, MI. He climbs aboard, we lift off the ground...feet are dry, thank you...we make a few landing and takeoffs at a local lake, and he says "It didn't help....move it back to where it was." Thank God I hadn't cut up a bunch of strut material only to have the move negated! In retrospect, whether it was working with strut material or chunks of aluminum, it was a lot of work for naught.

A day later I had the adapter brackets removed, the floats back to where they were originally, and flying again. I still wasn't cleared to land on water, but at least we had determined that the step-to-airplane position was more or less correct. Three days later, I made a decision while flying that would require the removal of the floats and a BUNCH more work than the earlier keel damage...stay tuned.

Lynn
Lynn Matteson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 07:18 AM   #48
Lynn Matteson
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Grass Lake, Michigan
Posts: 48
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

Paul-
I should point out that the floats were originally set up with the step at 5" behind the c-of-g, so the moving back of the floats had it to about 7 3/4 inches or so.

Lynn
Lynn Matteson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 07:25 AM   #49
Clark in AZ
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Posts: 23
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

WOW! What a story. Waiting for the next installment...
Clark in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 10:48 AM   #50
av8rps
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Junction City, WI
Posts: 517
Default Re: I still need float-rigging info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Matteson View Post
Paul-
I should point out that the floats were originally set up with the step at 5" behind the c-of-g, so the moving back of the floats had it to about 7 3/4 inches or so.

Lynn
I'm thinking if you stop posting the rest of the story here on Teamkitfox, that maybe I can work a publishing deal with you for the book rights? Then all those in suspense will HAVE TO buy the book to know the end of the story...

Yeah, I was surprised that 5 inches didn't work originally. A really good test for identifying if you have the step in the best location is to step taxi at about 35 to 45 mph to see how stable it is and if it will easily porpoise , or if it will fall off the step. Properly set as on my Model 4 you can hold full forward elevator at 35 mph and only develop a mild, very gentle porpoise that is easily stopped by reducing the down elevator just a bit. So I'm glad to know the original number wasn't way off. But I guess I wasn't sure what your instructor meant about the rear of the float being snatched down on landing?

Aw hell with it....finish your story here. We can get together later to write a book (once you have yours working like they should). We'll call it "How to fly floats". Oh that's right, J. Frey has already written that one. Maybe a bit more specific like "How to fly floats, with a Kitfox attached".
av8rps is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.